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April 22: First Kogarah match; Storm penalised for cap scandal

On this day in rugby league history, the Dragons begin a new era at Kogarah Oval, a Dally M Medal-winning Manly skipper is born, Newcastle's greatest player is farewelled and the NRL hands down a massive salary cap punishment.


The St George Dragons play their first game at a new venue, Kogarah Oval. A crowd of 12,500 turn out for the clash between St George and South Sydney, with the Rabbitohs prevailing 17-15.     


Premiership-winning halfback and Dally M Medal winner Matt Orford was born. Nicknamed "The Ox", Orford played well above his 5-foot-7 frame to lead the Manly Sea Eagles to the 2008 premiership – thrashing the Melbourne Storm 40-0 in the grand final a year after being beaten by the same club in the 2007 decider. Orford was named Dally M Halfback and Player of the Year in 2008, an undoubted peak in a career spanning more than a decade at the Northern Eagles, Melbourne, Manly, the Bradford Bulls and Canberra.


A thriller played out in Melbourne between the Storm and the Roosters, with the Sydneysiders prevailing 23-22 despite losing centre Ryan Cross to a broken leg.


The Newcastle Knights farewelled Andrew Johns in style at EnergyAustralia Stadium, naming the ground's $30 million eastern grandstand in his honour. A crowd of 25,000 turn out to honour the player acclaimed as the game's greatest performer. The Broncos overcome the emotion of the night to score an important 20-16 victory.

Knights great Andrew Johns.
Knights great Andrew Johns. ©NRL Photos


Parramatta captain Nathan Cayless stood down from Test football after 38 Tests for New Zealand.        


The Melbourne Storm were rocked by unprecedented penalties after revelations that the club has blatantly flouted the salary cap by $1.7 million over five years.

NRL boss David Gallop announced that Melbourne would be stripped of two premiership titles, three minor premierships, ordered to repay $1.1 million in prizemoney and fined $500,000. Additionally, the Storm were stripped of all premiership points gained after seven rounds of the 2010 season and prevented from accruing any more.


ARL Commissioner Wayne Pearce declares that May 28 remains the target date for the recommencement of the premiership, despite the absence of a restructured broadcasting agreement or a competition format.


This article contains information from the official records of NRL historian David Middleton.

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